Archive for the 'Exhibition' Category

France, Paris: Liberty Leading the People in the Louvre

Monday, January 7th, 2019

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Though foreigners flock to see the Mona Lisa, to the French, the most important painting in the Louvre – the unofficial national painting of France is this one, Liberty Leading the People by Delacroix. The bare-breasted female figure, who is called Marianne became a symbol of Liberty for the French Republic. Though Delacroix painted the July Revolution of 1830, the broken bodies beneath the flag depict the 40 years of civil war, political and social upheavals necessary to conquer the monarchy in order to win a representative government. The huge 8′ by 10′ scale adds to the dramatic patriotism.

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France, Paris: Hotel des Invalides

Thursday, January 3rd, 2019

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Les Invalides or Hôtel des Invalides is a vast complex of buildings in Paris including museums and monuments relating to the military history of France. As per its name it was originally built by Louis XIV as a hospital and a retirement home for war veterans. Pictured here is the Dôme des Invalides, a large church, the tallest in Paris which contains the tombs of some of France’s war heroes, most notably Napoleon.

The complex had 15 courtyards for military parades. At the church, attendance was mandatory. Louis XIV also commissioned his architect Mansart to construct a separate royal chapel referred to as the Église du Dôme from its most striking feature (pictured). By combining a royal chapel with a veterans’ chapel, the King and his soldiers could attend mass at the same time while entering the place of worship though different entrances, as prescribed by court etiquette at that time.

I’d like to think the gentleman sitting there (in the wheelchair and on the bench) are two of our veteran heros..

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France, Paris: The Unnerving Raft of the Medusa at the Louvre

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2019

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If you think life is tough, think of all the sailors that went out into the unknown seas. The shipwrecked Madusa, was left with 115 out of the original 400 sailors on board. There was very little food and water but lots of wine which led to heavy drinking, murder, mutiny and cannibalism. When rescued, only 15 were left alive. This work by Theodore Gericault’s was a seismic shift in art from the stiff neo-classicism of the past to the dramatic and emotional Romanticism in art. It is more of the most macabre painting in the Louvre.

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France, Paris: Michelangelo’s Slaves

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2019

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With everyone crowding in to see the Mona Lisa, you can head elsewhere in the Louvre Museum to find 100’s of other famous artists’ works, starting with Michelangelo. He was so brilliant at coaxing human emotions out of the stone. Here are two representations of slaves so painfully showing their despair.

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France, Paris: Sleeping Hermaphroditus

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2019

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At first glance this looks like a naked woman sleeping on a very soft cushioned bed but you would be mistaken on both counts. Originally found in the Borgehese gallery in Rome, obviously ancient audiences were comfortable with mixed gender concepts. She might be a he, and Bernini the master sculptor has made marble appear so soft.

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France, Paris: Venus, Samothrace, and Mona

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2019

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Three of the most recognized pieces of art in the world. The Venus de Milo (found on the Greek island of Milo) is over 200o yrs old and is still seen as the epitomy of classical female beauty. The Winged Victory of Samothrace is a mastery of carving – just notice the wind ruffling her 2200-year- old dress. And dear old Mona, our guide said she has that secret smile because she knows where Rodin hid The Thinker’s clothing! (See him at the Rodin Museum here in Paris)

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France, Paris: Louvre Palace

Monday, December 31st, 2018

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You might not have known that the world’s largest art museum, the Louvre was a palace. Before that it was originally built in the late 12th to 13th century as the Louvre castle under Philip II. Francis I chose it as the residence for French kings where it remained until good old King Louis XIV decided to move to Versailles and this building was then used to store his pretty things.

 

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France, Paris: Views from Sacre Coeur Cathdrale

Monday, December 31st, 2018

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Everyone getting ready to watch the sunset from the perch above the city of Paris on the steps of the Sacre Coeur Cathedral. And don’t forget to turn around from that iconic view and take a look at the Cathedrale itself in the shadows of the night.

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Great Britain, London: Re-enactment in the Tower of London

Monday, December 31st, 2018

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How delightful to walk into living history at the Tower of London. It’s so much more fun when you learn the stories of the people who “lived” or were imprisoned there. Did they lose their heads?

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Great Britain, London: Flower Wall at the Shard

Monday, December 24th, 2018

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Who would expect flowers to be growing on the wall of the 72nd floor of a building? Great photo op at the Top of the Shard in London.

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